From the founder of FemInEM, FIX 2017 gathered women and men to share ideas and support.
When Dara Kass, MD, decided to expand her popular FemInEM online community beyond the digital world, she drew on the best parts of all the conferences she has attended in her career. The result—FIX 2017—brought together 250 participants for three days of inspiring lectures, networking events, and workshops centered on the challenges women in emergency medicine face.
Recently, Dr. Kass, who is a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at New York University School of Medicine in New York City, sat down with ACEP Now Medical Editor in Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, to talk about the accomplishments of FIX 2017 and plans for this year’s encore conference. Here are some highlights from their conversation.
KK: I am excited to talk to you about FemInEM’s first national conference: FIX 2017. Tell us what’s happening with the organization and where this title of “FIX 2017” came from.
DK: FemInEM itself has grown exponentially but, more importantly, deliberately over the past two years. We have expanded our website and added our speakers bureau, job boards, and sponsor content. We’ve seen an increase in the submissions across the board from men and women, physicians of all stripes and all ages. We’ve seen a natural increase in the variety of content we have published, and the frequency of submission has been pretty amazing. Our Twitter and Facebook profiles have grown.
About a year ago, I was at a conference and thought, “If I could use these gifts of better presentation style and design, better speaking skills, better opportunities to understand how to interact with the media, and women in medicine, we could really make a huge difference.” So I took all of the best conferences I’d ever been to and tried to include pieces of those conference to create what I thought would be, what I hoped would be, a women’s development conference that was really a physician development conference geared around the topics of gender equity and inclusion in emergency medicine. We built a curriculum that we thought would reflect the needs of the population, and we asked others to just believe in us. We opened it up to 250 people and said, “Here’s a conference. It’s new. It’s in New York. It’s exciting.” We had one workshop day at the end; we tried to hammer home some of the tools we had inspired people to develop in the first couple days, and we sold out. It was amazing.